House Ownership – 2. Building a Custom House

Wiki > Ultima Online Wiki > Gameplay > House Ownership - 1. Placing a House > House Ownership - 2. Building a Custom House

You have placed your plot, now to put up some walls, doors, windows and a floor or two would probably be a good idea too. You can also convert a classic house into a customizable foundation, unless it is a castle, keep or “L”-shaped house; these are the exceptions. If you have any items in the house they will be placed into a secure container, called a moving crate, that will be accessible through the house sign.

To begin building on your foundation, double-click the house sign and select Customize. This will place you in Edit Mode, other players will not be able to see what you are currently building; all they will see is a dirt plot or the last design that you committed. Your character will appear as ‘hidden/invisible’ and gain the ability to walk through the walls, as long as you don’t actually fall off the end of the plot!

On the left side of the interface, you’ll find all the different design elements, such as walls, doors, floors, stairs, teleporters, and enhancement house pieces. You should explore all the buttons to understand the possibilities, the ‘miscellaneous’ option particulary has some unexpected depths. The interface is slightly different depending on which client you use.

Classic Client Interface

In this client telelporters are found in the ‘miscellaneous’ section misc, scroll to the second page. The ‘back up, restore, commit etc’ menu is found under this icon: commit.

Enhanced Client Interface

Having ascertained that the menu you see along the top of the Enhanced Client interface is under the icon, as illustrated above, on the Classic Client interface, what does that menu actually mean?

  • Backup – This saves your current design. You can cancel any changes you have made or continue designing, then return to the saved design at any time by pressing Restore.
  • Restore – Restores the last design you have backed up.
  • Clear – Clears everything and leaves you with a bare plot.
  • Commit – This commits your current design, charging or refunding the difference between the value of your current house, and the cost of your new design.
  • Synch – Synchronizes the house design you have on your computer with that on the game server. If you have problems placing or deleting certain items (especially doors), pressing this button sometimes fixes the problem.
  • Revert – This resets the design you are working on to the last committed design, ie. to how your house currently looks.

Once you select which element you would like to start building (let’s say you selected floors), the different design tiles available will appear in the middle section of the interface. Each of these options will expand when selected to show a range, for example the ‘grass’ floor tile set also includes ‘snow’. the ‘water’ floor tile set includes ‘lava’. To place a floor piece, simply click the tile you like best, move your cursor over the area on your plot where you want to place that floor tile, and click again.

If you want to cover an entire area with the same tile you can click-and-drag with your left mouse button over the area you wish to cover.

Correcting Mistakes

If you place a tile in the wrong spot accidentally, or if you decide that you just don’t like the tile you chose, there are two different ways you can change it.

  • Erase the tile. To do this, click the Erase button on the interface tool, place your cursor over the tile you wish to get rid of, and then left-click, the tile highlights red indicating that you are in Erase Mode. To exit Erase Mode, press the Esc key on your keyboard.
  • Select the new tile that you want to use and place your cursor over the tile you want to replace. This will highlight the tile yellow, which indicates that there is already a tile in that location. Be sure your cursor is over the correct tile before you left-click! The new tile will automatically replace the old tile.

Building Upper Levels

Once you’ve finished the first floor of your house and you want to start building the second floor click on the Second Floor icon on the right hand side of the interface. Similarly, to edit the third floor and the roof, click on the appropriate floor icon in the same area.

A pale square the size of your foundation will appear above the first floor, and your character will pop up to the second level of the house. Now all you have to do is follow the same steps that you did to build the first floor.

Getting Upstairs

You have a choice of stairs or teleporters. A teleporter uses only one tile and can be set to move you to any other location inside your house. Place a teleporter in one location, and a matching teleporter in the destination location. Stairs will require open floor tiles on the floor above.

Support Rules

There are some structural support rules to be aware of when building upper levels. A tile that is not supported from below, or which is blocking the exit of a staircase from the floor below, will turn orange. These tiles are in an illegal position. You will not be able to save your house if you have any orange tiles. Some exploration using the option to show/hide walls etc can help you locate the problem. showhide

Saving Your Design

You can take as long as you need to get your house just the way you want it. While you’re working on it, your progress will be saved on the server, even after you leave Edit Mode. Next time you enter Edit Mode again, your design will be just as you left it, allowing you to pick up where you left off.

Committing Your Design

When you are sure you have the house that you want, or if you just want to test out your new floor plan for usability, you will need to commit your design. Committing your house will take you and your house out of Edit Mode and place you at the foot of your foundation steps. This will also make the house visible to other players.

A Word About Security

This will be covered in more depth under the topic ‘managing your house’, but there is one aspect of security that is worth considering at the construction stage of your house. Houses can be ‘public’ or ‘private’ depending on the use you plan to put them to. A shop with vendors, or a roleplay tavern etc will need to be public. Even if you simply want to have an accessible mailbox the house must be public. This does not mean that any character in game must be able to wander at will over the whole of your home. Security on doors and teleporters can be set individually. You want to have a mailbox to receive mail but to keep the house locked? Simply set the security on your front door and put the mail box on the step outside. You have a ‘tavern’ with public bar, but want the bedrooms above to be private? Build it with a teleporter to the upper floor, or a staircase that is accessed through a door. Keeping your private areas ‘behind closed doors’ is a lot easier if you put those doors in when you are building!

Paying for Your Design

Walls, doors and windows all have a cost. The customization interface keeps a running total of this in the lower right corner. The cost of the design will be deducted from your account when you commit the design, provided you have enough funds. You remember the house placement tool showed your bank balance? If you do not have enough gold, you will not be able to commit your design. If this is the case, you must save your design and go raise the cash you need to complete the build.


The Moving crate


  • First, it is not a crate that you can pack everything up in when you decide to move!
  • It is a secure container that only the house owner can access.
  • It can exceed the normal container weight and item limitations, and will hold your entire house’s worth of goods.
  • No objects can be placed into it; items can only be taken out. Any affected house add-ons that are not containers are automatically re-deed and are placed in it upon customization, Any affected add-on that is a container is converted to a ‘moving barrel’. See House Add Ons for more details .
  • It cannot be picked up and does not decay. However, it can be moved with the “Relocate Moving Crate” house sign option. The house may not be actively deleted by the player as long as the Moving crate has any items in it.

When you enter Customize Mode, items (even add-ons) that are affected by the new tile placement are moved into an invisible moving crate. Once you have completed customizing your home, stand where you want to begin unpacking the crate and select the “relocate moving crate” option on the customize page of the house sign. The crate will appear at your feet and can be relocated at need as you move around the house to unpack. If you log out and back in, or re-enter Customize Mode, you will have to relocate the crate again to see it.

When the Moving crate becomes empty, it will vanish.The Moving crate does count towards the total storage limits for the house.

All Barkeeps and vendors are moved inside the Moving crate. They remain invisible and inaccessible until they are claimed.

How to unpack the Moving crate:

There are two situations in this case:

  1. The Home owner exits the design mode without committing their design. In this case, all lockdowns, secures, vendors, and barkeeps return to their previous locations. House Add-ons that were re-deeded always remain in the moving crate though.
  2. The House owner commits the design.
  • All lockdowns and secures will be returned to their proper place as long as the customization did not create an invalid return location for the item. Any remaining items in the crate can be manually removed by the owner.
  • House Add-ons are in deed form again in the Moving crate and can be placed again normally.
  • If the house had vendors the will be invisible in the moving crate. The moving crate will display the vendor count in its mouse-over text. When the vendor’s owner enters the house, that player receives notification of the vendor’s status inside the crate, along with instructions on how to get the vendor out. The home owner can also place the vendors.
  • The vendor’s owner may reclaim his vendor by moving to the desired location inside the house and activating the “Get Vendor” context menu on himself. This can be achieved by clicking (or holding down the Shift key and clicking) your Avatar representation in the game.
  • You will receive a window listing your vendors. Once you select one, it will be moved to your present location in the house.